GOAZCATS - Wildcats open fall camp with smooth first day
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Wildcats open fall camp with smooth first day

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Rich Rodriguez isn't into cartoons or their characters, and he's not so much into dramas. Good to know.
Tuesday evening - under most in daylight and the rest under the lights - Rodriguez was as content as he's ever been on the first day of practice at Arizona. The fourth time was a charm in as much as it was a drama-free day.
His players went to work and looked like it had prepared for this day for months. Of course some didn't (but more later).
"I've noticed coaches are more relaxed and more comfortable with us," said UA sophomore quarterback Anu Solomon. "(They're) letting us fly, making sure the young bucks, the incoming freshmen are on track with what we did."
In fact, Solomon said the first day went "smooth" and "everyone did what they were supposed to do" with exceptions like some of the freshmen "running like headless chickens."
But the first day was A-OK in finding a rhythm teams usually take a few days to find.
Rodriguez called the practices good, although it was hard to compare to the other years. Now would be the time to remind him it was only last year the first day was as drama-filled as any other time. In 2014, then-incoming-senior Tra'Mayne Bondurant was off the team (coming back out of shape) only to later be re-instated the next day.
And just three years ago incoming freshman Leo Thomas came in and was gone halfway through the first practice.
On Tuesday, it was business as usual, a luxury Rodriguez & Co., have with so many players returning. And although not all are cagey veterans they know enough to act like they've been here before. It's work, do your job and get ready for the next day.
One step prompts the next one and so on. Rodriguez did admit to tweaking a few things, but it was much like the past.
"Not so much that guys are back but there were a couple of things we wanted to have some emphasis on early and have a different structure to our practice," Rodriguez said of the tweaks. "The veterans know how the flow goes, but you could see some of the newcomers about halfway through practice needing a different adjustment."
It's not always easy. Even the veterans get hiccups once in awhile, Rodriguez said.
"It's still different when you practice and you can be in great shape (but) our practices will wear you out," Rodriguez said. "There are some veterans walking gingerly right now."
It's about being smart and healthy with a 12-games-in-12-weeks schedule. It won't be easy.
"If our guys work like I think they will work they will get more time off than is scheduled," Rodriguez said.
For now, it's all about work. And more work for some others. Those who came back out of shape will have to join Rodriguez for his notorious Breakfast Club, adding in a get-in-shape workout at 7 a.m.
"I got quite a few guys in the Breakfast Club, but I'm looking for some company anyway," he joked. "It gets lonely on the Stairmaster. I'll have a handful of guys with me. But it's not too bad."
Kind of like how the first day went … not too bad. In fact, it was pretty good.
"On offense, we're all in a rhythm from day one," said UA senior wide receiver David Richards. "Knowing the system and the reads has all helped us."